[REVIEW] 8dio - Adagio Strings

Discussion in 'Software Reviews and Tutorials' started by Andrew, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    8dio - Adagio Strings
    Prologue
    Back in 2011, Tonehammer was split into two independent companies, 8dio and Soundiron. Part of the Tonehammer's libraries became property of Soundiron, some 8dio and both companies started to work also on their own products. Troels Folmann, head of 8dio is however unfortunately more of a bussinessman than a musician or composer and the somewhat shiny quality of Tonehammer's standard deteriorated to "more products=bigger sales" approach.
    8dio is also quite notorious to be among the first to introduce watermarking system (actually their own, not Continuata) and for its substandard technical support.
    On the other hand, 8dio seems to be successful in its endeavours, gaining sales and increasing profit, but that might not be the users' main concern.

    Introduction
    8dio Adagio Violins came out in May 2012 and stirred a flurr of activity among music professionals. The first library to introduce Loure, 12 different bowing techniques, yep. it was and still is popular.
    Adagio Cellos followed the same year, Adagio Violas and Basses were sequently released in 2013.

    Adagio Strings, according to many users on the net and on AudioZ, is however somewhat cumbersome to work with. With so much articulations and so little control placed on the actual playing, you'll end up pressing keyswitches more than you like.
    Each package comes with Ensemble, Divisi and Solo recordings and every sample is presented in three mic positions, Close, Far and Mix.

    Specification and Layout

    [​IMG]
    Fig. 1 - Violins Divisi 1.1 patch, showing the available articulations

    The Adagio's gui is really eye-candy, but is still pretty easy to navigate through. There are 4 rotaty controls on this patch, Dynamics, Expression, Speed and Vibrato, though mostly you'll see just two (Dynamics and Expression).
    Dynamics is controlled with CC1 mod-wheel and takes care of proper crossfading
    Expression, known as CC11 is an alternative volume control.
    Speed controls the SPEED (you guessed it!) of legato transitions
    and lastly Vibrato crossfades between two vibrato layers (mild, heavy)

    Violins also come with '2nd Violins' button, which only pitch shift higher samples (do not expect independent sample set)

    What disappointed me is the number of articulations you get from each package. Only the common ones. No Sul Ponts or digged staccato, thought Col Legno and Bartók Pizzicato is present in some patches. Loure and Dynamic Bowings are covered well enough.

    On the other hand, Loure length seems to be very consistent, all notes end exactly on time.

    [​IMG]
    Fig. 2 - Divisi instrument patches

    Most of the library is tempo-synced, including the prerecorded Loure, allowing you to match the bowings to your host tempo. Lite patches were also included for low RAM systems.


    Problems & Drawbacks
    • Adagio uses mostly the same sustain sound for all legato types, which might become robotic after a while. The transitions are however recorded in round robin (most of them).
    • Legato transitions cannot be changed on the fly
    • The transitions tend to drift in stereo field, and based on my assumption, were recorded in just single velocity layer. Even with CC1 all the way down, the instrument is not really playing piano velocity. When there is transition between notes it came in with much higher amplitude and the enjoyment suffers.
    • You cannot control the attack either, well not directly. Provided you select the appropriate patch labeled "Strong arc" it might work, but still it can't beat the CS2 or Westgate woodwinds attacks.

    Conclusion
    Adagio is among the hardest libraries to review. There are so many aspects to think of and even if you write them all down, they become invalid once you start writing. Though the idea of Adagio is quite simple - you like it or not. 8dio took a step into unmapped territory and came out with a product designed to deliver life-like compositions. Yet this product alone might not do the job, with state-of-the-art regular String library, it however suddenly becomes very valuable addition. The Close sound largely resembles LA Scoring Strings, so pair this with LASS and you'll get ultimate combo.
    Adagio is hard to work with, lots of keyswitches and inconsistent stereo placement for sure is among the reasons why many people (including me) give up on it, nevertheless it's up to you, what suits you best. So try it and if you like the sound and the idea, consider future purchase.

    Reviewer's rating: :rofl:
    7 out of 10 stars
    [​IMG]

    PS: 8dio released 1.5 update for Violins and Cellos, which might fix some of the bugs presented here, though I still can't get my hands on that update, so once it is released to AZ, I'll surely update this review with relevant changes.
     
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  3. haha

    haha Ultrasonic

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    Thanks for the review. I'm curious, though, what's your favorite strings library.
     
  4. retroboy

    retroboy Kapellmeister

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    very informative review...thanks :mates:
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Spitfire Sables and Cinematic Strings 2 are my all time favourites :mates:
     
  6. doxent

    doxent Newbie

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    I think 8dio is too overhyped anyway.
     
  7. transporter1333

    transporter1333 Member

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    Thanks for your time, work and considerations.

    Also thanks for share your preferences.

    Your contribution is always welcome.


    :wink: :wink: :wink:
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    And you are always welcome, transporter1333 :mates:

    It's a heart-warming feeling that someone actually cares for your opinion :thumbsup:
     
  9. haha

    haha Ultrasonic

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    Thanks for the reply. Are the legatos on the Sables realistic? Their demos didn't convince me. I like the big sound CS2 have :wink:
     
  10. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    By default they are very fast, once slowed down, they do sound very realistic, maybe even better than LASS. :dancing:
     
  11. lenwe

    lenwe Newbie

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    We all love download things, but these reviews... they are a real treasure to help dig deeper into the software. One of the more valuables resources on the entire site.
    Thank you for share your time, work and wisdom with us.
     
  12. Tonk

    Tonk Noisemaker

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    Great review. Always a pleasure to read them, Andrew. :thumbsup:
     
  13. Millenium

    Millenium Producer

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    Andrew ,

    " You have found a new job ,hope you're well paid ..." :rofl:

    Most seriously, people like you are increasingly scarce :wink:

    Hoping to see you shortly in my studio :mates:
     
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